The Gateway School of Mumbai’s Advisory Board advises the School Founder, Co-Principals, and other school leaders on a host of matters including education services and beyond. In doing so, the board plays a key role in shaping the school’s future. The Advisory Board members are accomplished members from the worlds of business, government, medicine, law, education, art, and entertainment. They wholeheartedly support the mission and vision of the school, and with their worldly perspective and expertise, they help assure that Gateway develops in a way that is strategically sound.
Mr. Dharmil A. Bodani, Managing Director of Camphor and Allied Products Limited has vast experience of more than 2 decades in fragrance, flavors and chemical industry. He also looks after the overseas business of Oriental Aromatics Limited; a family led enterprise of 3 generations involved in the business of manufacturing of fragrances and flavours in India and abroad and has contributed tremendously towards the robust growth of the Company. He has rich experience in Finance, Accounting and Management. Perfumery is an art. If you need to master an art, time is the best teacher. Mr. Dharmil A. Bodani joined business at an early age of 18. He received specialized training on perfumery from experts all over the world. This training and his experience of more than 25 years in business gives him a fantastic understanding of how odours or aromas have to be used for commercial success.
He has been instrumental in the formation and implementation of the overall strategy and vision of the group. He plays a very important role in product selection on the chemicals side of our group and also heads creativity on the fragrance and flavor side of the business. Mr. Dharmil A. Bodani is serving as a Managing Director on the Board of Oriental Aromatics Limited, the holding Company of Camphor and Allied Products Limited and as a non-executive Director on the Board of TCFC Finance Ltd. Besides that he holds directorships in other group Companies as well.
On the non-business side, he is a huge fan of sports (especially cricket) and probably watches most of the cricket happening worldwide.
Chairman and Managing Director of Oriental Aromatics Ltd
Kinnari Punjabi has graduated in psychology/education from Sophia college Has done a one year programme in social work from the Tata institute of social science Has worked with a volunteer with the Indian epilepsy association and worked a wish granting volunteer for make a wish foundation of India.
Mr. Bodani was one of the founding members of Gateway, and is the Director of the Keshavlal V. Bodani Education Foundation. Having completed a B.A. (Hons.) in International Business Studies in London, he is currently the Executive Director of Camphor and Allied Products Limited. He is also the Director of its holding company, Oriental Aromatics Limited – a family led enterprise spanning 3 generations, involved in the manufacturing of fragrances and flavours in India and abroad. He is also involved in other companies belonging to the group – Director of Oriental Fragrances and Flavours Private Limited, and Director of PT Oriental Aromatics, Indonesia. Additionally, he is a philanthropist.
Executive Director of Oriental Aromatics Ltd
As the Founding Trustee, Indira has conceptualized and directed the establishment and development of The Gateway School of Mumbai. Her experience in the field of special education began when she was serving as a teacher, for 5 years, at the renowned Sadhana School for children with special needs in Mumbai. After the birth of her first son, Indira spent 10 years in the USA working closely with a multidisciplinary team of renowned educators, therapists, and doctors, to support her older son’s developmental needs.
Director, Keshavlal V. Bodani Education Foundation
Inspired by her deeply spiritual upbringing in India that was rooted in outdoor play and armed with the life lessons that she learned whilst being a mum to three spirited children, Beverly co-founded Middle East’s first green and purpose over profit children’s nurseries, Home Grown Children’s Eco Nursery.
Having witnessed how intrinsically connected children are with nature, Beverly was further inspired to write a series of children’s books that capture the innate love and affinity we share with Mother Earth. Each story focuses on an emotional superpower… LOVE, COURAGE, COMPASSION, KINDNESS, RESPECT, INTEGRITY and GRATITUDE, encouraging children to embrace these virtues and takes children on their own journey to discover how even little people can make a positive impact on our planet.
Bob holds a Bachelor’s (B.S.) in Education from Indiana University, Pennsylvania and two Master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. He served as the Head of School for The Gateway Schools in New York until 2013. Bob’s experiences in the field of education range from being a teacher at the elementary and secondary school levels, to serving as administrator for several Connecticut school districts, to working with the Ministry of Education in Japan.
In 2011, he was honoured by The Huffington Post as one of “100 Game Changers” in the USA – for his contribution to the field of special education.
Mr. Bobby Deol is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and a renowned actor in the Indian film Industry. He is the younger son of the legendary actor Dharmendra. He made a smashing debut in the 1995 hit film Barsaat for which he was awarded the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Debut. His extensive body of work includes films of different genres including thriller, romance, comedy, family drama, action, and so on. He has been extremely supportive of The Gateway School of Mumbai since its inception.
Chirag graduated from the University of Michigan, followed by an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Beginning his career at Merrill Lynch International Bank, London, he went on to become an entrepreneur and set up successful restaurants in New York and Mumbai. Currently he is Managing Director & CEO, and major shareholder at Walchandnagar Industries Limited – a high-technology manufacturing and engineering company. Chirag has been a member of the Managing Committee of Indian Merchants’ Chamber; a member of the Board of the Bombay Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO); and also a member of the Indian Interview Council for new admissions into INSEAD. He is also on the India Alumni Board of his alma mater, The University of Michigan.
Additionally, he is on the board of different Indian NGOs dealing with issues such as education, pediatric cancer, and protection of the girl child.
A graduate of NYU, Ms. Carrie Strauch has practiced pediatric occupational therapy (OT) for 33 years in clinical settings that include acute and rehabilitation hospitals, early intervention centers, schools, homes and private offices treating newborn through teenagers with a wide range of diagnoses. Certified in sensory integration therapy, neurodevelopmental treatment, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Reiki, Carrie integrates complementary healing methods with OT, and consults with families, schools and medical professionals about conventional therapies and complementary alternative medicine.
A published writer and educator, Carrie has lectured on pediatric OT in the USA, Spain, and India, at the university and continuing education levels. Carrie was the first OT student-intern at The Gateway School of New York in 1977.
She started her career as Associate Director, at Raheja Universal Pvt Ltd (RUPL) spearheading the Interior Design and other aesthetic divisions. She left an indelible mark on projects like One Altamount Road, Raheja Anchorage, Raheja Legend, Raheja Atlantis, Raheja Princess, Raheja Empress, Raheja Exotica, and Raheja Acropolis.
Over the years leadership has extended beyond interior design into areas of Procurement, Contracts, Collateral Design, Site Management, and Project Completions where she has created immense efficiencies and maintained a commitment to Quality as the Brand Custodian.
In the post-2020 landscape, she has assumed a pivotal role as Strategic Consultant to steer the company through a critical growth period. She now guides Strategic Planning ensuring Financial & Cost Robustness, advising on effective Marketing & Sales Strategies, optimizing Operational Efficiency, overseeing EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) aspects, implementing Human Resource strategies, and maintaining a discerning eye on Interior Design elements.
This holistic approach mirrors her comprehensive understanding of the business landscape, navigating challenges & providing strategic solutions in the Real Estate Industry. Through the varied roles she has played at RUPL, she remains committed to the company’s growth and continued success.
Mrs. Elina Meswani has graduated with a Bachelor’s (BSc) in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and has completed graduate and post-graduate courses on children’s brain development from the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential, Philadelphia. She is on the board of Habitat for Humanity – India BUILDS, a global organization building homes for the underprivileged. Mrs. Meswani has actively participated in annual meetings of Young Global Leaders Forum and World Economic Forum, Davos.
She is also involved in various charitable causes such as Eye Camps, Jaipur Foot Camps and Schools for the Deaf and Disabled. Mrs. Meswani is the wife of Mr. Nikhil R Meswani, Executive Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, the largest private sector company in India.
Dr. Fran Reinstein has been a practicing optometrist since her graduation from the SUNY State College of Optometry in 1991. Upon graduation, she received an award for Excellence in Pediatrics and an award for skill and proficiency in contact lens fitting. Dr. Reinstein completed a residency in Pediatrics and Binocular Vision at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, where she served as a member of the faculty at the Pediatrics and Binocular Vision modules.
She serves as the President of the Optometric Society, New York, she is on the executive board of the Children’s Vision Coalition, and is a member of The College of Optometrists for Vision Development. Dr. Reinstein has lectured extensively on infant and pediatric vision. She has conducted several vision screening programs for neurotypical and developmentally delayed preschool children.
Mr. Harsh Piramal is the executive vice-chairman of Morarjee Textiles Limited and PMP Auto Components Private Ltd, which belongs to the Ashok Piramal Group business conglomerate in India – a business conglomerate that has interests in textiles, real estate, auto components, entertainment, and sports, where each company features among the top 5 of the industry they operate in. Mr. Piramal is engaged in a variety of non-profit efforts focused on climate change, water scarcity, wildlife preservation, and other environmental and social concerns.
I am at heart a promoter for the Indian artisan and feel a deep connection with the craftsmanship of the Indian aesthetic..my Achilles heel however ,is children and when I was faced with the adversity of being “infertile “..I realised the need for women like me to break barriers to help people I may not know and by being categorised due largely for being ill informed, and judgmental,sadly educated people.
My need to change these prejudices comes from a personal experience and just As I dealt with infertility and therefore inferior in the eyes of others,it is my endeavour to help people live with no judgement and stand staunchly by those who dismiss children who are not inferior but very special.we all come with an unexpected history and for that Alone every one deserves tolerance if not mutual respect. I design,I paint and write but this seems to be my calling.
John Gloster is the Head Physiotherapist & Medical Coordinator, for the Rajasthan Royals IPL Franchise. He is also the Director of Sports Science & Medicine for the GoSports Foundation India and the founder of Triarch, a venture development firm built by experts for tech start-ups in the sports, health and wellness ecosystem. John has worked extensively with international cricket for the last 25 years including being the head physiotherapist for the Rajasthan Royals since its inception in 2008, the Indian cricket Team (2004-2008), Bangladesh National Team (2001-2004) and Surrey County Cricket in England (1998-2001). John has been a guest lecturer for university undergraduate level classes in orthopaedics and sports related injuries and is currently widely sought as a consultant on many health, fitness and injury related topics. He sits actively on several advisory boards for school and health/wellness related start-ups and projects in Mumbai and across India.
A former Gateway teacher, Dr. Irma Josefina O’Neill (Jossie) has completed a doctorate (Ed.D.) (1988) from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) (1979) in Reading and Human Development from the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. She has served as senior English Language Learner (ELL) literacy advisor to the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, assistant director for curriculum and instruction at the Amber Charter School, and senior program officer at New Visions for Public Schools in New York City.
After her time at Gateway, from 1986 to 1988, she was a full-time, tenured associate professor at SUNY College at Old Westbury, and visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and City College, CUNY. In 2005, Dr. O’Neill returned to Gateway and served for several years as a leader in varying capacities. At the present time, Jossie is involved in a new charter school in Long Island, New York that serves the Latino and African-American communities.
Ms. Kelly Dorfman is a health program planner and nutritionist with a master’s degree in biology/nutrition and 29 years of clinical experience. Her specialty is developing nutritional and lifestyle strategies to address complex health problems from autism to bone loss to rare genetic disorders. Kelly’s special talent for integrating information from many sources and finding practical solutions has made her a popular speaker and workshop leader. Her book, “What’s Eating Your Child?” (Workman Press) was published in June 2011.
Khushnuma Ferzandi has been an active member of the American School of Bombay (ASB) for the past 28 years. Khushnuma continues to be a consultant and workshop leader with the IBPYP. Her current role at ASB is Head of Community Relations. Her primary role is to expand and align ASB’s social and community initiatives with the intent to boost morale and build a stronger and deeper sense of community with all of ASB’s stakeholders. Khushnuma works closely with the Leadership and Admissions team to support families transition to ASB and Mumbai.
With a Masters from St Xavier’s Mumbai and having studied at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Lakshmi has been involved in hospitality management over the past two decades and currently sits on the board of Doha-based Aiana Hotels & Resorts, besides contributing to the activities of World Presidents Organization. She is committed to promoting entrepreneurship in women and organizing Art camps forcontemporary Indian artists. Lakshmi oversees the management of Beauty Salons, retail spaces and art galleries at various properties for The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts across India.
She is also Editor-in-chief of The Leela Magazine, the group’s quarterly in-house luxury lifestyle magazine. She is a patron of the arts, a devoted animal lover and an active member of the Mumbai-based women’s group Indus and committee member of Sahachari Foundation a trust that organizes events to promote change particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, community development, and for the promotion of art and culture.
Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist with a private practice in New York City where she evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults with sensory processing issues, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, and other challenges. She also provides teletherapy to families and schools nationwide. Lindsey is co-author of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, with a foreword by Temple Grandin. She is also the author of Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens. Her website is www.sensorysmarts.com.
Mahesh Jethmalani is one of the most successful lawyers in India, having served a client list of prominent politicians, businessmen and corporate establishments. He is also a political candidate with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mahesh is also the son of Ram Jethmalani – arguably the most prominent criminal lawyer in the country.
Ms. Nina Kilachand has over 22 years of experience teaching yoga at one of the most renowned kindergarten schools in Mumbai, along with classroom teaching experience at other prominent school across South Mumbai. She and her husband Rajen Kilachand – leading business magnate and the chairman and president of Dodsal Group – have generously directed their resources towards the support of several medical facilities in India and around the world, rural development initiatives in East Africa and India, and cultural and educational initiatives in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Mumbai, Gujarat, and more recently, Boston, where a $35 million endowment to the Kilachand Honors College at Boston University (USA) was made.
Dr. Devinsky is the Director of the New York University (NYU) Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the Saint Barnabas Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INN). He is also a professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry at NYU Langone School of Medicine. Dr. Devinsky specializes in epilepsy and behavioral neurology, and has been widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in his field. He has served as a board member for, and chaired several committees of, the American Epilepsy Society.
He is active in the American Academy of Neurology and the Epilepsy Foundation. He is an associate editor of ‘Epilepsy and Behavior’-co-founded ‘Reviews in Neurological Disorders’, and serves as a reviewer for more than 30 journals. He has authored more than 20 books in these fields.
Reshma Piramal heads operations at SEE Learning India. The SEE Learning Program® is Emory University’s K-12 education program that promotes Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning in educators and their students. She is committed to fostering a compassionate culture in schools through training of teachers and their students. She is a Developmental Speech and Language Therapist by training, having completed her Masters Degree at City University in London. Her area of interest has been ‘children at risk of reading failure’. Reshma is the Co-Chair of UNESCO MGIEP’s Global Working Committee for SEL and Emory University certified Senior CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) Instructor.
With over two decades of experience in the QSR industry in India, Smita Jatia has been an active member of the McDonald’s India team since its operational commencement and has managed various roles within the organization, over the years.
Smita is responsible for charting out and leading the aggressive growth of McDonald’s India’s operations across West and South India. She has been instrumental in launching, indigenizing and building the McDonald’s brand over the last two decades. Having joined HRPL in 1996 as Director – Marketing, Smita soon moved on to take the role of Chief Operating Officer. Currently, the Managing Director – Hardcastle Restaurants, Smita leads an organisation that boasts of an employee strength of over 7500 people across the West and South of India.
Under Smita’s leadership, McDonald’s India has also undertaken a host of community development programs ranging from education of youth on environmental issues and cleanliness to traffic safety awareness programs. She has been the driving force behind Ronald McDonald House Charities Foundation setting up its first Ronald McDonald Family Room in partnership with the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, in India. She also identifies closely with the mission of RMHC India – to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.
A commerce graduate from Sydenham College Mumbai, Smita also completed an 18 weeks Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston and also underwent a rigorous Marketing and Restaurant Leadership program at the Hamburger University, USA, to better prepare for her challenging role at McDonald’s India.
Smita lives in Mumbai, India with her husband Amit Jatia, who is the Vice Chairman of Westlife Development Pvt Ltd (WDL) and their sons, Akshay, who leads a business extension of McDonald’s India and Ayush, who is currently pursuing his studies abroad.
Dr. Sharon Herzfeld is a pediatric neurologist specializing in alternative and holistic neurology. She is an active member of the Homeopathic Medical Society, New York State, and has spent the last few years researching and studying alternative treatments for many common and chronic conditions that can be treated with homeopathic remedies successfully and less intrusively than with traditional pharmaceuticals.
Ms. Pulanco has a Bachelor’s (BA) in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and a Masters (MA) in SpecialEducation from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Having been mentored by Elizabeth Freidus, the school’s founder, Tonya has played a critical role in developing and applying the Gateway approach to education since the past 40 years.